Greenland Whale Fisheries

Lyrics

‘Twas in 18 hundred and 53
And of June the thirteenth day
That are gallant ship her anchor weighed
And for Greenland bore away, brave boys
And for Greenland bore away

The lookout in the mainmast stood
With a spyglass in his hand
“A whale, a whale, a whale fish,” he cried
And she blows at every span, brave boys
And she blows at every span

Our captain stood on the quarter-deck
And a fine little man was he
“Overhaul, overhaul, let your davit tackles fall
And launch your boats for sea, brave boys
And launch your boats for sea”

Now the boats were launched and the men aboard,
And the whale was full in view.
Resolved, resolved was each seaman bold
To steer where the whalefish blew, brave boys
To steer where the whalefish blew

We struck that whale, and line played out
But she gave a flourish with her tail
And the boat capsized, and we lost four men
And we never caught that whale, brave boys
And we never caught that whale

“To lose the whale,” our captain said,
It grieves my heart full sore,
But to lose, to lose those four gallant men
It grieves me ten times more, brave boys
It grieves me ten times more

The winter star doth now appear
So boys, we’ll anchor weigh
It’s time to leave this cold country
And homeward bear away, brave boys
And homeward bear away

Oh, Greenland is a dreadful place
A land that bears no green
Where there’s ice and there’s snow and the whale-fishes blow
And daylight’s seldom seen, brave boys
And daylight’s seldom seen

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